Crunchy Lentil Trail Mix

I started to train for a marathon recently, working out several times a week, and I found myself having a hard time getting the proper post-workout nutrition being a lactose-intolerant vegetarian. The recommended post-workout nutrition is centered around protein and carbohydrates. However, most of the recovery bars that you find in the supermarkets (i.e. PowerBar, CliffBar) are very delicious and appetizing, but I personally felt that they had too much added sugar and processed materials.

So, I decided to create a homemade lentil trail mix that I could both use as a post-workout recovery or as a snack anytime during the day. It is packed with healthy vitamins from the lentil and healthy fats (including mostly MUFAs) from the nuts and other add-ins that I chose to use. Since it is baked, it has a crunchy texture and both the chocolate chips and raisins give it a sweet taste, which altogether makes it a very satisfying yet healthy snack.

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The Recipe

Yields about 20-25 Servings

Serving Size: 1/2 cup

3.5 cup lentil/peas uncooked (I used yellow lentils – you can use any you wish: moong dal, split green peas, yellow lentil, red lentil, etc.)

2 cup raw whole almonds

1 cup semisweet chocolate or carob chips (I used Trader Joe’s Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips – you can use any kind of chocolate chips you want or even choose not to include them in your trail mix)

1.5 cup raw pumpkin seeds

1.5 cup raisins seedless (you can use dried cranberries as well)

** You can basically use whatever add-ins you want based on your taste so feel free to play around with whatever you like. To give you an idea, here are some add-ins you could use: dried cranberries, raisins, chocolate or carob chips, almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, dried blueberries, dried apricots, dried figs, whole flax seeds, chia seeds, fennel seeds, etc. Some of my favorite combinations are the following:

– dried cranberries and chocolate or carob chips

– pumpkin seeds, whole flax seeds, and raisins

– chia seeds, dried blueberries, and walnuts

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Directions

1. Soak lentils in a bowl until they are soaked for about 1-2 hours. Drain the lentils.

2. Preheat the oven to 350 C.

3. If you are using any nuts, silver your almonds or crush your walnuts, etc. Then mix them with your lentils and spread them across a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or sprayed with PAM, whatever you prefer.

4. Bake the lentils and the nuts, stirring twice or thrice every 10 minutes, until the lentils are golden crisp. Cool the lentil mix to room temperature for 20-30 minutes.

5. Mix the roasted lentils and nuts with your extra add-ins like raisins or chocolate chips, etc.

6. Store in an airtight container (the trail mix lasts for over a month).

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